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Become An Administrative Office Specialist

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Working As An Administrative Office Specialist

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing Administrative Activities
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $37,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Administrative Office Specialist Do

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff.

Duties

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically do the following:

  • Answer telephones and take messages or transfer calls
  • Schedule appointments and update event calendars
  • Arrange staff meetings
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and faxes
  • Prepare memos, invoices, or other reports
  • Edit documents
  • Maintain databases and filing systems, whether electronic or paper
  • Perform basic bookkeeping

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical and administrative duties that are necessary to run an organization efficiently. They use computer software to create spreadsheets; manage databases; and prepare presentations, reports, and documents. They also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or corporate libraries. Secretaries and administrative assistants also use videoconferencing, fax, and other office equipment. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty.

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. They often handle more complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, and preparing reports. Some also supervise clerical staff.

Legal secretaries perform work requiring knowledge of legal terminology and procedures. They prepare legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal. They also review legal journals and help with legal research—for example, by verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs.

Medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take simple medical histories of patients, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, or process insurance payments. Medical secretaries need to be familiar with medical terminology and codes, medical records, and hospital or laboratory procedures.

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive is the largest subcategory of secretaries and administrative assistants. They handle an office’s administrative activities in almost every sector of the economy, including schools, government, and private corporations. For example, secretaries in schools are often responsible for handling most of the communications among parents, students, the community, teachers, and school administrators. They schedule appointments, receive visitors, and keep track of students’ records.

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How To Become An Administrative Office Specialist

High school graduates who have experience using computer software applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, usually qualify for entry-level positions. Although most secretaries learn their job in several weeks, many legal and medical secretaries require additional training to learn industry-specific terminology. Executive secretaries usually need several years of related work experience.

Education

High school graduates can take courses in word processing and office procedures at technical schools or community colleges. Some temporary placement agencies also provide training in word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.

Some medical and legal secretaries learn industry-specific terminology and practices by attending courses offered at community colleges or technical schools. For executive secretary positions, employers increasingly prefer to hire those who have taken some college courses or have a bachelor’s degree.

Training

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. During this time they learn about administrative procedures, including how to prepare documents. Medical and legal secretaries’ training may last several months as they learn industry-specific terminology and practices.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Executive secretaries can gain experience by working in administrative positions that have less challenging responsibilities. Many secretaries and administrative assistants advance to higher level administrative positions.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can demonstrate competency to employers.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 to 4 years of administrative work experience, depending on their level of education, and pass an examination.

Legal secretaries have several certification options. For example, those with 1 year of general office experience, or who have completed an approved training course, can acquire the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) certification through a testing process administered by NALS (previously known as National Association of Legal Secretaries). NALS also offers the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) certification, considered to be an advanced certification for legal support professionals.

The Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification is conferred by Legal Secretaries International in areas such as intellectual property, criminal law, civil litigation, probate, and business law. Candidates typically need to have 5 years of legal experience and pass an examination to become certified.

Advancement

Secretaries and administrative assistants generally advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor, office manager, or executive secretary.

With additional training, many legal secretaries become paralegals or legal assistants.

Important Qualities

Integrity. Many secretaries and administrative assistants are trusted to handle sensitive information. For example, medical secretaries collect patient data that is required, by law, to be kept confidential in order to protect patient privacy.

Interpersonal skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff. They should communicate effectively and be courteous when interacting with others to create a positive work environment and client experience.

Organizational skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently.

Writing skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers. Therefore, they must have good grammar, ensure accuracy, and maintain a professional tone.

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Administrative Office Specialist Career Paths

Administrative Office Specialist
Executive Assistant Office Manager
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Manager Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Account Executive Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Accounts Payable Clerk Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Coordinator
Senior Administrative Coordinator
6 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Administrator Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Consultant Human Resources Manager
Human Resource Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Specialist Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Specialist Project Coordinator
Senior Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Human Resources Coordinator Administrator
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Specialist Accountant
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Legal Secretary Executive Secretary
Senior Executive Secretary
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Team Leader Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Administrator Senior Administrative Assistant
Senior Administrative Specialist
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Billing Specialist Executive Administrative Assistant
Executive Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Legal Secretary Assistant Property Manager
Assistant Community Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Legal Secretary Executive Assistant To President
Senior Executive Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Assistant To Executive Vice President Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Administrative Office Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Office Specialist 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Administrative Office Specialist
Cashier 5.8%
Secretary 5.6%
Internship 3.7%
Teller 2.7%
Top Careers After Administrative Office Specialist
Cashier 3.3%
Internship 3.0%
Volunteer 2.5%
Specialist 2.2%

Do you work as an Administrative Office Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$37,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$21,000
Min 10%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$37,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
William Blair & Company
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Delaware
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does an Administrative Office Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Administrative Office Specialist in the United States is $37,315 per year or $18 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $21,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $64,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of an Administrative Office Specialist?

Have you worked as an Administrative Office Specialist? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as an Administrative Office Specialist.

Top Skills for An Administrative Office Specialist

  1. Office Supplies
  2. Customer Service
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform monthly account reconciliations, ordering of office supplies
  • Provided customer service to internal and external customers on product information as new equipment arrived.
  • Analyzed, edited, documented, and registered confidential information to database.
  • Receive and review financial statements from clients, enter into spreadsheets for consulting sessions.
  • Performed data entry of individual and corporate/business tax returns in to departmental systems and databases for processing.

Administrative Office Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

74.9%

Male

13.5%

Unknown

11.5%
Ethnicity

White

64.2%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Black or African American

12.5%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.8%

French

10.2%

Arabic

5.1%

German

3.4%

Japanese

3.4%

Hmong

3.4%

Turkish

1.7%

Portuguese

1.7%

Chinese

1.7%

Kurdish

1.7%

Cantonese

1.7%

Braille

1.7%

Carrier

1.7%

Hindi

1.7%

Tagalog

1.7%

Mandarin

1.7%

Urdu

1.7%

Tibetan

1.7%

Sinhala

1.7%

Thai

1.7%
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Administrative Office Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.5%

Old Dominion University

9.9%

George Mason University

8.4%

Virginia Commonwealth University

7.6%

Tidewater Community College

7.6%

Northern Virginia Community College

6.3%

Liberty University

5.5%

Strayer University

5.5%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

5.2%

J Sargeant Reynolds Community College

3.9%

Ashford University

3.7%

Metropolitan State University

3.4%

Norfolk State University

3.1%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

2.9%

Rasmussen College

2.9%

Southside Virginia Community College

2.6%

John Tyler Community College

2.6%

Virginia State University

2.6%

University of Maryland - University College

2.4%

Piedmont Virginia Community College

2.4%
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Majors

Business

32.4%

Health Care Administration

8.1%

Accounting

7.0%

Psychology

6.0%

Criminal Justice

5.2%

Communication

3.8%

Management

3.6%

Human Resources Management

3.6%

General Studies

3.3%

Human Services

3.2%

Legal Support Services

2.9%

Computer Information Systems

2.8%

Sociology

2.7%

English

2.4%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Education

2.3%

Marketing

2.3%

Medical Assisting Services

2.1%

Information Technology

2.0%

Political Science

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.2%

Other

24.2%

Associate

16.9%

Masters

10.8%

Certificate

6.3%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.5%
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